Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fiction of Surge and Splurge

The mainstream American media remain willingly captive to the government's fictional narrative of the Iraq war. I have to think it is because despite their knowledge that they were deceived by the weapons of mass destruction justification--and their anger over that--they remain reliant on the U.S.. military for their safety and access to the information they need to report any stories. They are also congenitally inclined to trust authority, especially authority, like General David Petraeus, who assiduously cultivates them. So great is the American media's devotion to Petraeus that it is more adamant about the "surge" damping downn violence in Baghdad than he is. The media is so adamant that it pillories Barack Obama for not hewing to the fictional narrative.

Obama was right. We know that Maqtada Al-Sadr's decision to keep his Mahdi armies on the sidelines and the rise of the Sunni Awakening against insurgents contributed probably more than the surge--the Sunni Awakening predated the surge; the Maqtada's decision was coincident. Now in the journal Environment and Planning A appears a paper by John Agnew at UCLA and two colleagues, called "Baghdad nights: evaluating the U.S. miliary "surge" using nighttime light signatures." Between spring 2006 and the beginning of the surge in February 2007, the largest Sunni neighborhoods in Baghdad were emptied, ethnically cleansed, as manifest in satellite photo showing a 57 percent to 80 percent drop in nighttime light levels in Baghdad's Sunni enclaves. The American media couldn't ignore this story, although this link is from the Times Online [London], but for now it is buried under the financial meltdown.

I don't see in the Bush any guarantees that the greedy bastards behind this disaster will pay any penalty. If they don't, the bailout is just a continuation of the shell game. These people knew what they were doing. They must forfeit profit and pay gained from the bubble and be kept from profiting in any way from future sales. Simultaneously working people must be protected, but we have no obligation to safeguard mortgages on 2nd or 3rd or whatever homes.

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